View Full Version : Oh .204Ruger! How Do I Love Thee!

Brian Pfleuger
July 9, 2012, 10:14 PM
Let me count the ways!:

Here are 342 (yards) ways, that require only "top edge" hold over, that blob used to be a living woodchuck...


Oh, and that's not just 342, it's right handed, pulling the trigger with the left hand, shielding eyes from the sun with the right. :D

Here is 40-ish (yards) ways, left handed, off-hand, not having to aim low because it's so high to get to 342:

Low recoil, low (for a center fire) muzzle blast, economic reloading, "laser" flat, oh yes, I do love thee! :D

Here she is, what a beauty!

Nine the Ranger
July 9, 2012, 10:40 PM

What scope is that?

Brian Pfleuger
July 9, 2012, 10:55 PM
That is a Mueller Eradicator

July 10, 2012, 05:22 AM
You'd pass out then at a 20 Dasher. I have a 20 practical in an AR and it's the bee's knees on dog towns, the Dasher is for long range work, 600+

Brian Pfleuger
July 10, 2012, 08:35 AM
20 Practical is essentially identical to .204 and the Dasher, well, I'd rather spend my time shooting than forming cases. Besides which, the Dashers recoil is FAR greater than .204 and I don't have 600 yards to shoot.

gun nut
July 13, 2012, 07:27 AM
Nice marksmanship!

July 13, 2012, 11:57 AM
So I'm guessing there are supposed to be pictures.

Brian Pfleuger
July 13, 2012, 12:03 PM
Hey! Where's they go?!

I'll fix it. Hang on.

Brian Pfleuger
July 13, 2012, 12:27 PM
Well, there you go. Jeez. That took more effort than it should have!

July 13, 2012, 02:38 PM
Pictures are gone still... Narrative makes me want the pics!

Brian Pfleuger
July 13, 2012, 02:46 PM
What the! Hang on!

Brian Pfleuger
July 13, 2012, 02:49 PM

July 13, 2012, 02:56 PM
Images are showing now.



July 13, 2012, 08:25 PM
The 204 will be my next Contender barrel.

July 13, 2012, 09:59 PM
I too have an ongoing love affair with the .204---mine is in a Ruger number one, topped with a Bushnell 3x9---the distances you can shoot with this caliber are amazing---I have mine sighted in at 100 yet you can go out and see something clear accross the field, coyote, ground hog, crow or whatever and nail it. Flatist shooting round I've ever seen---John

July 14, 2012, 07:28 AM
Very nice, Brian! Reading your various posts about and regarding the .204 is kinda making me want one...

July 14, 2012, 01:25 PM
Nice pics. Nice gun. Dead rodent.

Colorado Redneck
July 18, 2012, 07:46 PM
What load/bullet were you using?

Brian Pfleuger
July 19, 2012, 11:45 AM
That load is 28.0gr Benchmark under 32gr V-Max.
Only gets to 4,035 fps (which is what factory ammo does in this gun) but it's scary accurate. Under 1/2 MOA.
One of these days I'll get around to finding a load that gets closer to 4,200.

Wild Bill Bucks
July 19, 2012, 12:31 PM

What is your scope zeroed at, and what kind of real trajectory do you have?

Got rid of a .204 about a year ago, and have been sorry ever since.

You have re-peeked my interest.

Brian Pfleuger
July 19, 2012, 02:36 PM
I'm sighted in about 2" high from 140 to 170 yards, which puts me 2" low at 305 and about 4.75" low at 340.

I never "Zero" my guns. I sight in at maximum height and then check for consistency at several distances.

This is from the last time I shot for a group, at 100 yards. OnTarget says it's .368 inches. Yep, it's only 3 shots but the gun does it time and time again.


July 19, 2012, 03:27 PM
I have one in a Savage and absolutely love it.

I am shooting Hornady factory ammo out of it right now saving up brass to reload. I noticed with the 32 grain that it is very, very accurate but I will get a flyer every now and then. I also have shot the 45 grain and again very accurate but with less flyers.

Have you tried the 45 grain and if so what were the results.

The energy that the 204 produces is amazing. It works pretty effectively on pigs too.

Brian Pfleuger
July 19, 2012, 04:43 PM
I've never used 45s. My gun liked factory 40gr ammo pretty well but I went to 32s when I started handloading. I have a box of Sierra 39s I'll try next. I hear of stability troubles with 40gr in some factory standard twist rate barrels do I suspect the 45s might not work.
I'm a "light and fast" type guy so I'll never know. ;)

July 19, 2012, 07:19 PM
I started reloading my 204 in 2005. I have not fired any factory loads. I made a decision to use light bullets right from the get go. I used four powders, 4198, 748, H335, and BLC-2. I used 30 Bergers, 35 Bergers, 32 Sierras, and 32 vmax.

The best 5 shot groups recorded were as follows:

Berger 30 .381"
Berger 35 .320"
Sierra 32 .372"
Vmax 32 .580"

I found out one thing that is pretty much contrary to all my past experience loading for accuracy. The faster the 204 goes the better it shoots. All four of the above powders gave almost immeasurable differences in group size.

I have used Sierra bullets since the early 70's and prefer them simply for that reason, all things being equal. I got a deal on 748 and BLC2 so that's what I use. Bench rest primers of almost any variety also worked best.

Brian Pfleuger
July 19, 2012, 07:51 PM
What speed do you get with the W748 and 32s? I've been meaning to try it because QuickLoad thinks I can exceed 4,200 but I've never gotten around to it.

Shane Tuttle
July 19, 2012, 08:14 PM
Good shootin', fella.

I'm still hesitant on buying one due to two factors:

1. Can they really be accurate enough to use for benchrest shooting to 600 yards?

2. Being such a small bullet, can they handle bucking the wind?

I know it's a cartridge mainly designed for varminting. I'm still leaning on a .260Rem instead. Yes, yes, I know. I'm probably comparing apples to oranges.

July 19, 2012, 08:38 PM
I'm ashamed to admit it but at the time I was working up loads I was fighting with my chrono manufacture trying to get them to repair mine. I, of course, had heard about the factory stated speeds on their ammo but experience told me that information was worthless. At the time I had also heard that ammunition was being loaded with some type of bulk powder that was not available to hand loaders. Duplication of factory speeds was near impossible.

I don't know about quick loads but a few years after I settled on my load I did run it through my new replacement chrono and the average of 10 shots using 748 was 4185 fps. That load was not showing any signs of excess pressure. I believe I could have increased the charge by at least 1.5 gr. without trouble.

I bought the 204 to shoot everything the size of a house cat and smaller. It's a single shot Cooper with a less than high quality 3-9 Fujinon scope. The scope was purchased as a brand close-out for $199.00.

July 20, 2012, 03:32 AM
Once you go to the 39BK or 40Vmax, you will never go back to the 32gr. The light bullets have no advantage over the heavier ones, especially beyond 200yds.

If you're wanting to buck wind with the 20's you need the 55gr berger, you have to have a minimum of 1/9 twist for those though.

I use 8208 XBR in my 204 and in my 20 practical, it meters nice too. I get 3880fps in my practical and 3865fps in my 204, both with the 39BK's or 40Vmax.

My load for the 32's was 28.6grs of 8208 XBR in the 204, 3950fps.
My load for the 39/40's is 27.3grs of 8208 XBR in the 204, 3865fps.

Remember if you are going to stay with the 32Vmax, buy the Zmax, they are half the price for the exact same bullet. Also start low as many chambers can be tighter or looser :)

July 20, 2012, 10:48 AM
300 yards??? That is up close and personal compared to shooting prairie dogs in Colorado where 500 yards or more is the norm!

Loved my Custom Shop Remington 10x in .220 Swift!

For 300 yards I would use my Springfield M1A1 Super-match with iron sights for that!:D